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Tennessee

Tennessee is the 16th U.S. state, admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. Its most populous city is Memphis, and its capital is Nashville.

Marriage Equality: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and recognition of other forms of same-sex partnership solemnized in other jurisdictions, was approved by voters in November 2006. The constitutional ban is currently being challenged in federal court. The case is Tanco v. Haslam.

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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Nashville mayor first in Tenn. to publicly support marriage equality

| Sunday, August 24, 2014
Karl Dean
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville mayor Karl Dean has joined the national group "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry," becoming the first mayor from Tennessee to publicly support marriage equality. Dean signed on to the coalition of nearly 500 mayors from around the U.S. advocating for full marriage equality nationwide.

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Marriage News Watch: Fourth Circuit recap, Miss. couples register marriage licenses

| Monday, August 18, 2014
Jean Dawell of Delhi joined hundred of others along with the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio at a rally for gay marriage in Lytle Park, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in Cincinnati.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recaps last week’s refusal by the Fourth Circuit to delay it's order striking down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban. Now, anti-gay defendants have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in at the last minute.

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ON THE BLOG

Marriage News Watch: Sixth Circuit recap, 3 states head to Supreme Court

| Monday, August 11, 2014
Gay marriage supporters march from the Potter Stewart United States Courthouse, rear, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, to Fountain Square in Cincinnati.
This week’s Marriage News Watch report from Matt Baume at the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recaps last week's hearings in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the challenges to four states' same-sex marriage bans, while appeals from three other states land at the U.S. Supreme Court. Plus, Wisconsin organizers have formed a new group called ...

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Tenn. judge upholds gay marriage ban in same-sex couple’s divorce case

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Tennessee
KINGSTON, Tenn. -- A Tennessee judge has ruled that two men who married in Iowa and later moved to Tennessee cannot be granted a divorce because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. In his ruling, Roane County, Tenn., Circuit Court Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr., upheld Tennessee’s ban on same-sex marriage and said state laws now in effect ...

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Anti-gay Tenn. lawmaker behind ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill defeated in reelection bid

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Stacey Campfield
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- An anti-gay Tennessee state lawmaker who has spent much of his legislative career sponsoring anti-LGBT bills, and who once blamed AIDS on a gay airline pilot having sex with monkeys, was soundly defeated Thursday in his bid for a second Senate term.

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Chattanooga voters reject benefits for same-sex domestic partners

| Friday, August 8, 2014
Chattanooga, Tenn.
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — Voters in Chattanooga have rejected a proposal to allow health benefits for domestic partners of city employees. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the measure was rejected in Thursday’s referendum election by 5,501 votes. In November, Chattanooga became the third city in Tennessee to vote to expand benefits to same-sex couples...

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Federal appeals court weighs four states’ same-sex marriage cases

| Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Gay marriage supporters rally outside a federal courthouse in Concinatti on Wednesday, Aug. 6, where judges were hearing the appeals of six same-sex marriage cases from four states.
CINCINNATI --A federal appeals court judge hearing arguments in six gay marriage fights in a landmark hearing Wednesday expressed deep skepticism about whether the courts are the ideal setting for such major change, saying that the best way to win the hearts and minds of Americans on the issue would be the democratic process. The judge, Jeffrey S. Sutton of the ...

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AUDIO: Tennessee same-sex marriage ban faces federal appeals court

| Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Tennessee plaintiffs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A three-judge panel is now considering whether Tennessee's law barring recognition of same-sex marriages is constitutional. Attorneys representing multiple gay couples told judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday that's there's no rational reason for barring same-sex marriage. Lawyers from the...

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A summary of same-sex marriage cases before the Sixth Circuit appeals court

| Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Jean Dawell of Delhi joined hundred of others along with the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio at a rally for gay marriage in Lytle Park, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in six gay marriage fights from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee on Wednesday, setting the stage for one ruling. Each case deals with whether statewide gay marriage bans violate the Constitution. A look at the cases:

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Sixth Circuit hearing same-sex marriage arguments from four states

| Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Duane Lewis, left and his partner Rex Van Alstine, both of Finneytown, Ohio, join hundreds of others along with the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio at a rally for gay marriage in Lytle Park, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in Cincinnati.
CINCINNATI — A federal appeals court began to hear arguments Wednesday in six gay marriage fights from four states – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee – in the biggest such session on the issue so far, and hundreds of supporters rallied near the courthouse. Three judges of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati considered arguments ...

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